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Theme notes and fairy tales

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Theme is like the moral of the story
A central message, concern, or purpose regarding a subject in a literary work
The message or lesson an author wants you to take away after reading the story
Universal idea or message that stretches through an entire story
Some common themes: good vs. evil, prejudice, redemption, love, revenge, death, religion (religious
beliefs/messages), coming of age, courage, dreams, acceptance, friendship
The theme is not usually stated. The theme is usually implied which means that we have to make an
inference about what the theme is.
Questions to help figure out the theme: What did the characters learn? How did the characters grow or
change? Why did the characters act this way?
Beauty and the Beast happily ever after, love triumphs over all, abandonment, self-image, outside
threats
Cinderella jealousy, happily ever after, good things come to those who wait, good vs. evil,
Jack and the Beanstalk bravery, courage, adversity, good overcoming evil
The Ugly Duckling overcoming a challenge, beauty comes from the inside, acceptance
Rapunzel wanting something forbidden, determination, temptation, finding freedom, lack of loving
parents, self-centered authority figures
Thumbelina searching for true love, don’t give up hope, love conquers all, happily ever after
Sleeping Beauty true love conquers all, persistence, happily ever after, good things come to those who
wait

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Sleeping Beauty
Grimm's Fairy Tale version - translated by Margaret Hunt - language modernized a bit by Leanne Guenther
Long ago there lived a King and Queen who said every day, "If only we had a child!" But for a long time they
had none.
One day, as the Queen was bathing in a spring and dreaming of a child, a frog crept out of the water and said to
her, "Your wish shall be fulfilled. Before a year has passed you shall bring a daughter into the world."
And since frogs are such magical creatures, it was no surprise that before a year had passed the Queen had a
baby girl. The child was so beautiful and sweet that the King could not contain himself for joy. He prepared a
great feast and invited all his friends, family and neighbours. He invited the fairies, too, in order that they might
be kind and good to the child. There were thirteen of them in his kingdom, but as the King only had twelve
golden plates for them to eat from, one of the fairies had to be left out. None of the guests was saddened by
this as the thirteenth fairy was known to be cruel and spiteful.
An amazing feast was held and when it came to an end, each of the fairies presented the child with a magic
gift. One fairy gave her virtue, another beauty, a third riches and so on -- with everything in the world that
anyone could wish for.
After eleven of the fairies had presented their gifts, the thirteenth suddenly appeared. She was angry and
wanted to show her spite for not having been invited to the feast. Without hesitation she called out in a loud
voice,
"When she is fifteen years old, the Princess shall prick herself with a spindle and shall fall down dead!"
Then without another word, she turned and left the hall.
The guests were horrified and the Queen fell to the floor sobbing, but the twelfth fairy, whose wish was still not
spoken, quietly stepped forward. Her magic could not remove the curse, but she could soften it so she said,
"Nay, your daughter shall not die, but instead shall fall into a deep sleep that will last one hundred years."
Over the years, the promises of the fairies came true -- one by one. The Princess grew to be beautiful, modest,
kind and clever. Everyone who saw her could not help but love her.
The King and Queen were determined to prevent the curse placed on the Princess by the spiteful fairy and sent
out a command that all the spindles in the whole kingdom should be destroyed. No one in the kingdom was
allowed to tell the Princess of the curse that had been placed upon her for they did not want her to worry or be
sad.
On the morning of her fifteenth birthday, the Princess awoke early -- excited to be another year older. She was
up so early in the morning, that she realized everyone else still slept. The Princess roamed through the halls
trying to keep herself occupied until the rest of the castle awoke. She wandered about the whole place, looking
at rooms and halls as she pleased and at last she came to an old tower. She climbed the narrow, winding
staircase and reached a little door. A rusty key was sticking in the lock and when she turned it, the door flew
open.
In a little room sat an old woman with a spindle, busily spinning her flax. The old woman was so deaf that she
had never heard the King's command that all spindles should be destroyed.
"Good morning, Granny," said the Princess, "what are you doing?"
"I am spinning," said the old woman.
"What is the thing that whirls round so merrily?" asked the Princess and she took the spindle and tried to spin
too.
But she had scarcely touched the spindle when it pricked her finger. At that moment she fell upon the bed
which was standing near and lay still in a deep sleep.
The King, Queen and servants had all started their morning routines and right in the midst of them fell asleep
too. The horses fell asleep in the stable, the dogs in the yard, the doves on the roof and the flies on the
wall. Even the fire in the hearth grew still and went to sleep. The kitchen maid, who sat with a chicken before
her, ready to pluck its feathers, fell asleep. The cook was in the midst of scolding the kitchen boy for a mess
he'd made but they both fell fast asleep. The wind died down and on the trees in front of the castle not a leaf

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Theme is like the moral of the story A central message, concern, or purpose regarding a subject in a literary work The message or lesson an author wants you to take away after reading the story Universal idea or message that stretches through an entire story Some common themes: good vs. evil, prejudice, redemption, love, revenge, death, religion (religious beliefs/messages), coming of age, courage, dreams, acceptance, friendship The theme is not usually stated. The theme is usually implied which means that we have to make an inference about what the theme is. Questions to help figure out the theme: What did the characters learn? How did the characters grow or change? Why did the characters act this way? Beauty and the Beast – happily ever after, love triumphs over all, abandonment, self-image, outside threats Cinderella – jealousy, happily ever after, good things come to those who wait, good vs. evil, Jack and the Beanstalk – bravery, courage, adversity, good overcoming evil The Ugly Duckling – overcoming a challenge, beauty comes from the inside, acceptance Rapunzel – wanting something forbidden, determination, temptation, finding freedom, lack of loving parents, self-centered authority figures Thumbelina – searching for true love, don’t give up hope, love conquers all, happily ever after Sleeping Beauty – true love conquers all, persistence, happily ever after, good things come to those who wait Sleeping Beauty Grimm's Fairy Tale version - translated by Ma ...
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